A Day in the Life of a Social Media Consultant and Trainer: Manal Assaad
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Social media is an inescapable reality of today. According to the Bayt.com ‘Internet Usage in the Middle East‘ survey, August 2011, over 40% of professionals use social networking sites at their workplace. Most of us may keep checking our Facebook feeds and posting our Twitter updates for lunch breaks, but what if your job was in the field of social media? How would one divide between work time and play time? Today’s Day in The Life blog explores what it is like to work in this exciting field.
Manal Assaad is a Social Media Strategist with a 360 degrees communications experience in branding, marketing, advertising and public relations in Saudi Arabia. As a self-confessed branding fanatic, marketing enthusiast and media addict, Manal has been actively involved in helping various brands create and maintain a successful online presence through strategy, training and consultation. Manal is well-known in the Middle East for her influence in the digital scene. She frequently shares her wisdom on her blog, TheManalyst.com.
Do you wonder how Manal manages to squeeze in so much into her day? Read on to find out how her typical day looks like:
9:00 – 10:00 AM
As an independent Social Media consultant, my work days are finally how I’ve always wanted them to be. I have honestly never been a morning person, but to work for a living, you often have to be one… However, I am far from wanting or enjoying what’s typical, and that’s why I love my work in social media.
My day starts between 9 and 10AM, and the first thing I do is check my phone’s notifications to see what I missed during sleep. It is not a good habit, but I believe most of us are guilty of it; and at least I get to justify it as part of my work!
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
While most people can’t kick-start their day before their sacred cup of coffee, I’m wholeheartedly a green tea person. Lately, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking my breakfast outside, in the sun and beautiful weather, with some relaxing music, to start my day in a good mood.
During breakfast, I start planning the day ahead by checking my GTasks mobile app, or my Planner Plus iPad app, to see what tasks I have listed for the day, and to list any new tasks I got from my notifications. I prioritize my tasks according to their ease and urgency and the time required to finish them.
1:00 – 2:00 PM
I have lunch with dad, and get back to my room to start working, after grabbing another cup of green tea.
2:00 – 7:00 PM
I prefer working in my room with TV on in the background. Although this may not work for most people, to me TV or some music in the background keeps my mind lively. I begin with the light tasks like responding to emails, social media notifications, writing formal documents such as reports and proposals, etc. I leave the heavy tasks that require creativity, researching and brainstorming for later in the day when I can focus better. Although flexibility is one of the major advantages of working independently, it can also be a drawback if you can’t organize yourself and structure your work and time effectively. So I make sure to set deadlines and reminders for myself, and even enlist the help of a friend in some cases, in order to keep my progress on track.
In between tasks, I take 10 to 15 minutes to scroll down my Facebook newsfeed, or my Twitter/Hootsuite timeline, interacting with people, and seeking interesting content to read and share. I also love using Feedly mobile app to curate content, read, share and bookmark for later reading. To make sure that I don’t overshare during my reading slots, I use Bufferapp to schedule sharing content across Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin in different times. It’s quite an indispensable tool in my personal, as well as my work arsenal.
At around 3:30, my nephew comes back home from school, so it’s time for us to play a little or watch something fun on TV. He’s always the most fun part of my day!
Time to get dinner ready for dad before he arrives at 8, so I take a little break to make something quickly before getting back to work.
8:00 – 11:00 PM
Back into my room, to my laptop and TV! To me, having fun is as important as working, and I keep a balance by getting both aspects fulfilled. Reading and sharing content, engaging with the online community, browsing the Internet or even watching TV for inspiration and creative input, traveling and meeting people are all things I enjoy, and occasionally the lines between what I enjoy at work and what I enjoy in my personal time are blurred. So I don’t have a specific work time, or a specific ‘me’ time – it’s something I enjoy, and I do it the whole day!
11:00 PM – 03:00 AM
You might have guessed it, given that I am not a morning person at all, I would definitely pull an all-nighter rather than wake up early to work. I work on my heavy tasks late at night, as that’s when my creativity and productivity kick in. I also find the peace and quiet more conducive as I get to think clearly, with better focus and fewer interruptions.
I work until my mental energy starts waning at around 3AM. I usually end my day the way I started it, with a cup of green tea and checking my GTasks, to cross off what I’ve finished, and get to sleep with a sense of accomplishment.
Do you have an interesting career, or simply love your job so much that you want to share your story? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will get in touch with you!